When President Biden predictably began lecturing Russian President Vladimir Putin about human-rights abuses in Russia, Biden was chagrined when Putin turned the tables on him by asking about human-rights abuses at the hands of the U.S. government.
Consider the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s torture and prison center in Cuba. It could easily fit comfortably within any communist country or other totalitarian regime.
Consider the types of policies that the Pentagon and the CIA have implemented at Guantanamo Bay:
1. No trial by jury. Trials, if they are ever held, are by military tribunal. That means a kangaroo trial. The verdict of guilt is already established before the trial even begins.
2. No trials. Yes, that’s right — people at Gitmo don’t even get a kangaroo trial. There have been people locked up in there for more than a decade. Why haven’t they been accorded even a kangaroo trial? That is what is called the power of indefinite detention — the power to take a person into custody and keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life.
3. Torture. U.S. officials torture inmates into confessing their crimes. They also torture witnesses into testifying against people who are accused of crimes. Evidence acquired by torture is admissible at the kangaroo trials (if they are ever held).
4. Hearsay. People who are on trial (if a trial is ever held) are prevented from confronting the witnesses against them and cross-examining them. Instead, witnesses are permitted to recite out-of-court statements made by others as a way to secure convictions.
5. Denial of effective assistance of counsel. The Pentagon and the CIA eavesdrop on communications between inmates and their attorneys.
Now, if I told you that all of these things happen in communist or totalitarian regimes, you would not be surprised. But what is sad is that today no American is surprised that the U.S. government does these things too. It’s all become a normalized and acceptable part of American life, just like assassination has.
Consider assassination. The Fifth Amendment expressly prohibits the federal government from depriving a person of life without due process of law. Due process is a principle requiring formal notice and a trial.
Yet, the Pentagon and the CIA have a formalized program of state-sponsored assassinations. That’s just legalized murder — the taking of people’s lives without notice and trial.
Not surprisingly, the power to assassinate people is wielded by communist and other totalitarian regimes. The power of assassination has also been wielded by Pentagon and CIA officials ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state.
Consider Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. All they did was disclose the truth about these types of sordid, dark-side, communist-like, totalitarian-like policies and actions of the U.S. national-security establishment.
How have U.S. officials treated Snowden and Assange? The same way that communist and totalitarian regimes treat dissidents.
Maybe the pandemic is something that will cause Americans to do some serious soul-searching as to where we are as a nation, how we got here, and what we need to do to get things back on the right track.
In the meantime, Biden needs to keep in mind that when he wags his finger at communist or totalitarian regimes regarding human-rights violations, there are three more fingers pointing back at himself.